Manx Genealogy Archive 2

Re: Moses Canning
In Response To: Re: Moses Canning ()

For Valory Hurst from Pam Megson

Died December 29th, 1912.

Mr Moses Canning, of Cronkbourne-road, Douglas, passed away at his residence on Dec. 29th, 1912. In his death the Isle of Man has lost its oldest working journalist. It is true that Mr Canning had at least one senior connected with journalism in the Island, but so far as whole time devotion to the profession is concerned, he was undoubtedly the doyen of Manx news paper scribes. Born in the Island some 56 years ago, he was reared and educated in Douglas, and in Douglas he spent the whole of his adult life. On leaving school he was apprenticed as a printer with the late Mr R. H. Johnson, Prospect-hill, Douglas, but while still in his apprenticeship, his services were transferred to the late Mr John Christian Fargher, proprietor, editor, printer, and publisher of the " Mona's Herald." While yet a youth he displayed an inclination to take up the literary side of newspaper work, and Mr Fargher afforded him an opportunity to realise his ambition. He had an innate talent for journalism, and this he developed by study and practice until he quickly qualified as a most excellent allround reporter and a descriptive writer of parts. His style was incisive, picturesque, and original, and his almost marvellous perception and quick grasp of interesting news material rendered him a most valuable member of a newspaper staff. A very accomplished phonographer, he was a reliable note-taker, and even the most torrential and involved public speakers had no terrors for him. In his day he reported all the principal residential and visiting orators-including among the latter the late William Ewart Gladstone -and was frequently congratulated upon the accuracy and discretion of his reports. In the course of the trials in the Court of General Gaol Delivery of the persons indicted for criminal offences concerning the conduct of Dumbell's Bank, he accomplished a really astounding feat. Unaided, he reported the proceedings, which lasted well nigh a fo night, and completed his account of e clay's session in time to admit of publication the same night. It is doubtful whether in the history of journalism a more remarkable achievement, involving as it did wonderful capacity and power of endurance, has been forthcoming. So faithful was the report, that it was accepted as evidence in the hearing of appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council from the findings and sentences of the Court of General Gaol Delivery. It was, however, as a descriptive writer that he conspicuously shone. In the course of his career, it fell to his lot to record for newspaper purposes chiefect happenings of an eventful generation, and he ever emerged from the record creditably, his work being characterised by correct style, sufficient detail, literary finish; while he had the art of conveying vivid pen pictures of occurrences of public interest. He had too, that sense of humour which is [] salt to journalism. At times was extremely outspoken in regard to what he conceived to be matters deserving of condemnation, and in this respect employed both tongue and pen to paper that made some people squirm considerably. His first engagement as a reporter was with the late Mr J. C. Fargher, but in the late 'seventies he accepted engagement on the "Isle of Man Times" staff, and was for some few years employed as one of the official reporters in the Insular Legislature-the contract for furnishing reports of the legislative proceedings being then, as now, placed with the proprietors of the "Times". Eventually, he returned to the " Mona's Herald," and for over twenty years, up to the time of his death, he was chief of the reporting staff of that journal. For many years Mr Canning was the accredited correspondent in the Isle of Man of the Press Association, and in this capacity he did good work for English journalism, and incidentally for the Isle of Man. While engaged in reporting in court proceedings, on Monday, 23rd, he was taken seriously ill, and had to leave for home. His condition quickly grew worse, and, notwithstanding best medical and nursing attendance procurable, it became evident that his position was a very dangerous one. On Saturday, he sank rapidly, and on Sunday night the end came. Mr Canning, though laid up for under a week, had not been in satisfactory health for a considerable period, but he persisted in remaining at the post of duty at times when he should really have been in bed. The cause of death was erysipelas and blood poisonning, induced by a run-down condition of body. Mr Canning's hobby was hunting up of old and rare books, old art pictures, and objects d'art generally.

He was an excellent judge and discriminating buyer of all these things, he acquired a really valuable collection.

He also took a great interest in agriculture and horticulture, and for an amateur was a wonderfully good judge of [], cattle, dogs, and flowers--he fairly excelled in describing and criticising exhibits at agricultural, horticultural, and [] shows. His was a most retentive memory, his mind being stored with [] regarding everything of moment which had occurred in the Isle of Man for [] forty years. Probably no man in the Island knew more people, and was known by more people than he, and his acquaintance extended among all classes of folk. In his youth he was very active and [] of body, and throughout his life took a keen interest in manly and other [] of sport. Unquestionably, in his death, the Island has been deprived of a remarkable and interesting personality. During the last twelve years, Mr Canning took a considerable interest in Church []-he was closely associated in Kirk Braddan, and for some years he regularly attended service at the parish church, but latterly he worshipped at St. Matthew's. He was twice married, his second wife, who survives him, being a Yorkshire lady. By his first wife he had two sons and two daughters, all of whom are grown up and are off the Island.

Mr Canning was laid to rest on the afternoon of New Year's Day. At the funeral there was a very large and representative gathering, which included members of the Legislature and of other public bodies, members of the Manx Bar, and a large contingent of Manx journalists. The body was enclosed in a coffin of unpolished oak, with massive silver furniture, the plate bearing an inscription denoting the name, age, and date of death of the deceased gentleman. Mr R. F. Douglas was the undertaker responsible for the funeral arrangements, which were admirably carried out. The chief mourners were Miss Strappini Canning (elder daughter [of 2nd marriage]) and Mr C. Johnson [sic John] Jones (son-in-law). Wreaths or other floral tributes were sent by "Mother and daughter," Mrs C. J. Jones (daughter [of 1st marriage but 6months pregnant and presumeably unfit to travel]), colleagues of the Manx Press, employees at the " Mona's Herald " works, Messrs Clucas and Fargher (proprietors of the " Mona's Herald"), Mr H. B. Mylchreest, Miss Bridson, Mrs R. F. Douglas, Mrs and Miss White, and Mrs Whiteside. The cortege proceeded from Cronkbourne-road to St. Matthew's Church, where the opening portion of the service for the burial of the dead was conducted by the Rev H. S. Taggart, vicar, the lesson being road by the Attorney-General (Mr G. A. Ring). The service in the church was choral, the choir chanting the Psalm and leading in the singing of the hymn, " On the Resurrection morning." As the coffin was carried from the church to the hearse, the Dead March in " Saul " was played on the organ by Mr J. R. Boardman, who in the course of the service had previously rendered " Trauer March " (Grieg) and " Marche Funebre " (Beethoven). Interment was in a grave in the new portion of Kirk Braddan Cemetery. The committal portion of the burial service was impressively recited by the Rev H. S. Taggart, M.A.

[fpc - Moses Canning was married twice - 1st was to Jane Killip on 24 August 1879 at St George's, the 1881 census shows one child Gertrude (died 1958) , Jane Canning is probably the Jane Canning buried Braddan 24 Mar 1889 age 29, other children are likely to be Spencer Carlyle buried Braddan 28 Apr 1886 aged 4 months and Thomas also buried Braddan 11 Sep 1889 aged 7 months]